Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Iran To Unveil Array Of Weapons Next Week

Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Aug. 17 that Iran will unveil next week an array of weapons, including missiles, speedboats and a long range drone, the ISNA news agency reported.

Two missiles, Qiam (Rising) and the third generation Fateh 110 (Conqueror) would be tested next week, when Iran marks the annual government week, Vahidi said in reference to the Iranian week which starts on Aug. 21.

Iran will also unveil the long-range drone, Karar, he said using the nickname of revered Shiite Imam Ali.

On Aug. 22, Iran launches its annual government week, which runs until Aug. 30 and is an occasion to showcase Tehran's achievements.

Iran has previously paraded a version of Fateh 110, which has a travel range of 150 to 200 kilometers (90 to 125 miles), but the range of the surface-to-surface Qiam missile was not reported by ISNA on Aug. 17.

Vahidi said production lines of two missile-carrying speedboats, Seraj (Lamp) and Zolfaqar (named after Imam Ali's sword) would also be opened next week.

Vahidi said the unveiling of these weapons indicate that "sanctions have had no impact on us, but made us more experienced and self-sufficient."

Iranian officials regularly boast about the Islamic republic's military capabilities and Vahidi's announcements come at a time when local officials have been warning against any attack on the Islamic republic.

Tehran's archfoes, the U.S. and Israel, have not ruled out a military strike against Iran to stop its controversial nuclear program.

Last week, a top commander from the Revolutionary Guards said Iran will mass produce replicas of the Bladerunner 51, often described as the world's fastest boat, and equip them with weapons to be deployed in the Gulf.

Also on Aug. 8, Iran took delivery of four new mini-submarines of the home-produced Ghadir class. Weighing 120 tons, the "stealth" submarines are aimed at operations in shallow waters, notably in the Gulf.

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